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Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Haditha: A Soldier in Iraq Responds

Our buddy Gaius over at Blue Crab Boulevard's son writes:

My squad leader is sitting right beside me, and we just compared notes on how many IEDs we've been through. We counted six each. One of them hit my truck, one of them hit his. I can tell you from firsthand experience that after an IED goes off, every soldier's first instinct is to start shooting at everything in sight that's moving. Someone has just tried to kill you, and you can't kill him back. That said, we've never gone on a shooting rampage after an IED. On the other hand, all the roadside bombs we've encountered have only resulted in minor injuries. To play devil's advocate, I can't imagine how it feels to lose a friend and comrade to an unseen enemy. If the Marines in question are found guilty of committing a crime, I will partially understand their emotions even if I abhor their decision.

His son also writes about the potential backlash from the story:

More IEDs will be placed, more weapons will appear on the streets, and more soldiers are going to die. I'm a major supporter of the First Amendment, but I have a vested interest in this incident being kept low-profile. If it's true, it's an atrocity, and the men responsible from bottom to top should swing from the yardarm. If it turns out to be yet another case of the media attacking the Bush administration, an as-yet unknown number of U.S. servicemen will have been killed as a result of a media circus. If the latter is true, can we hang the reporters for negligent manslaughter?
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